And if GOD does not demonstrate to us His grace then He is left unsatisfied in His desire to demonstrate His true character and heart - that which man was created for by Him in the first place. If "election" is or was for the express purpose of choosing some people to be with Him in His kingdom then the GOD who makes the claim of being GOD is in fact and has to be in fact, a fraud. For the GOD of scripture - The GOD who had scripture penned - The GOD whom scripture is the revelation of - Is by His very nature jealous of being known, and of being known for who He really is - His character, His nature, His heart, His ability(s)/capability(s). And so we want to look at the 'election' of man by man's Creator - it's character/nature, and it's relationship to GOD and man.
grace is no more grace
2. If it be of works, then it is no more grace:
work is no more work
A key phrase is "no more": It is either works or grace, there is no such thing as grace + a little (or a lot) of works ><>< "no more" is nothing of the other: It is either one or the other - works or grace - All of one and none of the other. "No More"
works is only works if there is no grace involved
Works is of the flesh>
Grace is of the Spirit>
There is no union taking place between these two.
There's no melting together of the two.
Spirit and flesh are like water and oil they just do not mix.
Works and grace just do not mix.
It cannot be a combination of GOD'S graciousness and my 'good' deeds (works).
IF it is grace, it is NO MORE works.
(note: Spirit is referring to the Spirit of GOD)
He (GOD) created man - the human race.
Out of that (this - our) human race He chose a particular people - a people whom He raised up into a nation. They came out of the loins of Abraham (Genesis 12-21) ;
In Sarah and Abraham's union was brought forth from a dead womb a child, whose son, Jacob, bore 12 brothers. These 12 grew into a multitude known as Israel - the Jewish nation - GOD'S elect (or chosen) according to the flesh.
This is a picture of what is happening when a person excepts JESUS CHRIST. The impossible happens. Out of the womb of a spiritually dead human race is "born again", spiritually, a child of GOD:
This is allowed to take place,,,can only take place,,,and the mechanism or biology of how this takes place IS;
because, or by means of...JESUS becoming a man and shedding His blood on the cross and three days latter raising from the dead - all after living 33 years on this earth as a man and as GOD in perfect fulfillment of the law - i.e sinless!!
Through this means GOD had made a way for the spiritually dead to become alive - reborn. Just as Sarah's dead womb was impregnated with a living child - Issac. Just as the virgin Mary was impregnated by the Holy Spirit with JESUS -son of man
-Son of GOD
He is where the physical and the spiritual meet
He is where the faith and works meet
He is where grace and works meet
He did the works so you and I could have the grace
* * *
It must be noted: The plan was to raise up a spiritual nation; to adopt sons and daughters; to have a kingdom of GOD; to have a church.
The method of accomplishing that was to raise up a physical nation (a 'chosen' people, or "elect" people) for GOD'S very own:
Give them the revelation of Himself ( i.e. His oracles, and His mighty deeds) to the whole of mankind:
Out of them give birth to an only (the only) begotten Son - JESUS;
Nail Him to a cross after He lived an absolutely perfectly sinless life (Fulfilled the Law in every respect);
And thus providing Righteousness, Reconciliation, Redemption, Atonement, and Adoption for ALL mankind - (GOD is not willing that any should perish but that all might come unto repentance."
2Peter 3....."Whosoever will call upon the name of the LORD shall be saved." Romans 10.....
"For GOD so loved the world that He gave...that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish." John 3....)
That they could be fit to be His sons and daughters
His children....His chosen....His elect....His kingdom....His church....the body of CHRIST....the bride of CHRIST.
it is not
about me being elected.
His grace, His demonstration of it, His will in action.
B. Election according to foreknowledge
"God has not cast away His people which He foreknew." 11:2
"For whom He did foreknow,
He also did predestinate...
Moreover whom He did predestinate them He also called,
and whom He called them He also justified..." Rms. 8
For some ungodly reason man has seemed to (or chosen to) overlook the "foreknowledge" of GOD. The very fact that GOD can look down the road of the future and see the every, and very thoughts and deeds of man does not seem to be a factor in the thinking of those who would choose to think GOD has denied them a choice having deliberately and/or aimlessly, and/or carelessly chosen you, me and not them; for no apparent, but mere arbitrary reason. Why? Tell me why does it say "Whom He foreknew He predestinated..... and called.....and justified....and glorified, and yet we will say (we being the such as calvanists) that GOD arbitrarily choses some and not others, and that we virtually have no say in the matter. Foreknowledge is not equal to tyranny over my will. I have a choice (but He must draw me, john 6). In Joshua is written, "Chose you this day whom you will serve" (ch.24). When we speak of "election" and bring foreknowledge into the picture we are unable to neglect the fact that 'the will of man' and 'sovereignty of GOD' are meeting face to face here.It would seem (at this point) that 'foreknowledge' is the link between man's will and GOD'S sovereignty. He makes a choice that will fulfill His purpose, but it is based on (at least in part) on the foreknowledge He has of what we will chose and/or do, and/or think.
This is not difficult! It is so simple a child can understand. The only way GOD chooses anyone is because He knows already before He chooses, what the answer to His call will be. WHOM HE FOREKNEW HE PREDESTINED; I mean it is hard to know what to say or whether I should say anything to expound this statement of Romans; God has stated it so clearly I can't imagine I, nor any other man, could be more clear than He. There is no arbitrary picking going on with or by GOD....He elects you because He knows you will accept. You are still doing the choosing and He is still doing the calling.
He offers a free gift to ANYONE & EVERYONE, but you can only have it if you accept it...It is a gift provided by GOD for every human being and received by or given to only those who accept it - reach out and take it from the out-stretched hand of GOD. You're 'elected' by GOD, predestined by GOD, called by GOD, and justified by GOD BECAUSE He knew ahead of time that when He came to the door and offered it to you you would reach out and take (accept) it! - He knew ahead of time that you would believe. How simple is this so-called doctrine of election???
You can not earn it; It is simply offered from a heart of pure graciousness
You must be called to it; you will not of your own accord seek it.
You are called to it because it is known you will accept it.
You were called - you accepted, therefore you are justified by Him.
If I come to your door and offer you a free gift, and you say "I don't believe anything is free, go on get" and so I get; who did not get the free gift? You. Why? Because I did not avail you to it? No because you did not receive it. Suppose I know ahead of time that you will not receive it so I skip coming to your door and go on to the next door, making my free offer, did I in fact reject you and choose your neighbor?
The calvanistic camp of thinking would have one believe that GOD chooses some and not others, and they would omit the fact that He is choosing those He knows will accept. There is no irresistable grace at work here...
GOD knew before I was born that when He came knocking at the door of my heart I would open the door and receive Him, SO, He came knockin'!!!
This neither negates my GOD given right to choose (the same right I might add that He - GOD, has) nor does it negate His sovereignty as GOD - He gets to choose, as GOD, whom He wants, and no human power nor heavenly power can stop nor contest it - He does that choosing by a criteria that He sets, a criteria that is equitable for ALL; a criteria that shows no favoritism nor partiality; a criteria that is so simple; will you accept if I call - I know you will so I'm calling you; OR I know you won't so I am not calling you.
It is NOT that, you are accepting, because, GOD is calling.
It IS that, GOD is calling, because, you are accepting.
C. Election according to the purpose
a. with Hagar, Ishmael (child of the flesh)
b. with Sarah, Issac (child of promise)
Israelites = to whom pertains:
* the covenants
* the giving of the law
* the service
* the promise
FIRST: To be an Israelite you had to be a child of promise - I.E. you were offspring of Issac - Issac was the son of Abraham and his wife Sarah - who was past child bearing years - Issac was a miracle baby: a child conceived in a dead womb, (a womb unable to produce a child); Issac was a promise FROM GOD and brought to fulfillment by GOD. He (Issac) was the result of GOD'S work, not man's: Whereas Ishmael was the work of man's so-called wisdom and power (effort) - the work of man, by man, to accomplish what GOD had promised.
Ishmael was the effort of carnal man, the flesh.
Ishmael was the result of man's logic;
Issac was the result of GOD'S promise:
Ishmael was the product of man's work;
Issac was the product of faith (believing GOD and trusting GOD), without man's logic.
BEFORE they are born
GOD elects one to love and one to hate:
(note: before they were even born, they had done neither good nor evil, in that state of being is when GOD elects to love one (Jacob) and hate the other (Esau).)
GOD states here in verse 11 that election stands according to what GOD promises, NOT according to works. We ought note that in 2 Peter 1 we see that through the promises of GOD we partake of the divine nature. Here in Romans 9 we are being given the example of that in the articulation, by GOD, of His relationship with Israel. We see that the only way to be a child of GOD was according to what He promised, not what man did. To be a child of GOD is to partake of His divine nature - an indulgence of man that could only be through what He promised. One had to be Abraham's seed - you had to come out of the loins of Issac, Abraham's seed and GOD'S promise to Sarah/Abraham. The product of faith in the promise of GOD: A faith that did not entail the (carnal) wisdom of Abraham and Sarah which produced the seemingly witty decision to put Abraham and Sarah's maid, Hagar, together to get the child (son) GOD had promised:
No, the promise was made by GOD, and the promise was fulfilled by GOD: And therein lies the truth of our faith, and that truth is that we partake of the divine nature through the promises of GOD; no other way.
SECOND, election is done in accordance with a purpose. GOD is seeking to get something accomplished; It is not random selection, it is deliberate and purposeful choosing in order that a certain purpose - i.e. goal - be accomplished.
"...that the purpose of GOD
according to election might stand
not of works but of Him that calls..." vs. 11
"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy
and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion..." vs. 15
"So then it is not of him that wills
nor him that runs,
but of GOD that shows mercy." vs. 16
"For the scripture says unto Pharoah,
even for this same purpose have I raised you up
that I might show my power in thee,
and that my name might be declared
throughout all the earth." vs. 17
In short the purpose of GOD is to receive the rightfully deserved glory that is His by virtue of His very existence and His handiwork as Creator. GOD wants to be known and acknowledged as GOD. He wants to be glorified. He wants to reveal Himself and be seen and loved and known for who He is.
* * * * * * *
GOD'S election is based in what He decides is; and will or will not, should or should not be based in any effort of mine. HE HAS A RIGHT; HE HAS A WILL; HE ALONE HAS THE POWER (AUTHORITY) TO EXERCISE THAT RIGHT AND WILL: HE INTENDS FOR US TO UNDERSTAND THAT HE CAN, WILL, HAS AND IS DOING SO; AND WILL CONTINUE TO EXERCISE HIS RIGHT, AS GOD AND CREATOR, TO DO WHAT HE PLEASES.
Hence, such things as, 'If you want to know GOD and partake of His divine nature, it will only be through (by) trusting His promise and trusting Him to keep that promise: NOT, by my works He does - Therefore or therein He gets the glory - If Ishmael (the son of Abraham and Hagar the maid) and descendants were GOD'S children then Abraham & Sarah could take the credit for being so wise and sly in getting GOD'S Word (promise) fulfilled by what seemed logical.
GOD DOES life so that He alone gets glory.
It is at this point of supposition that I must tread lightly, for herein is a doorway to error. If I seek to prove my supposition (as stated in previous paragraph) to be right I am in danger of twisting scripture to make it support my belief in my heart that GOD'S very purpose in creating the heavens and earth, and man was to glorify Himself. That is to say, to bring attention to His very being and existence, To be lifted up, To be acknowledged and known for who He is. I believe and understand that this statement in Romans 9:11 refers to that fact, that GOD'S purpose is, at least in part, to be glorified in life; "...the purpose of GOD according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calls... that I might show my power and my name might be declared throughout ALL the earth."
Election is based in GOD
in man's works
This to me eludes to the fact (or 'supposition') that GOD seeks SOLE glory -
Election has to do with that - GOD elects so that He alone gets the glory or recognition for what has happened: And the real life example, on this earth, that He gives is Jacob and Esau: Neither one having done good nor evil, both unborn at the time GOD did the choosing to love one and hate the other. None of their (neither Jacob nor Esau) effort - works, good or bad - was the deciding factor at that point in time. And so He legitimately makes the statement in 9:15 "I will have... on whom I will..." [this is an OT quote from Exodus 33] and is followed by the statement "Therefore it is not of him that wills...nor...runs, but of GOD that shows..."
I would say,
GOD seemingly (at least seemingly) wants His mercy - His merciful nature - to be known:
If I can earn anything from GOD then I will NOT note His mercy.
BUT if I cannot earn anything from GOD, and He simply gives to me without my merit,
then, I will see that GOD is merciful;
If in fact GOD desires to be known, then His merciful nature can only be known if in fact He shows mercy. THEREFORE, election is based on what He wants and does, That way He can show mercy and get glorified for doing so. And He does so with absolute equity - He already knows ahead of time the willful choice of man. His grace (and mercy) is for all who will have it.
* * * * *
"For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
For the same LORD over all
is rich unto all
that call upon Him.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the LORD
shall be saved." 10:12/13
*** **** **** ****
After completing this posting on 'election' I read a passage in Jeremiah 18 which I think has relevance to our discussion of 'election'. I am going to write it out and challenge you to read and contemplate it's content in light of our topic. Please note that this is being quoted from the TANAKH which is a translation of the old Testament by a Jewish rabbi from the dead sea scrolls many years ago.
'Go down to the house of a potter,
and there I will impart my words unto you.'
So I went down to the house of a potter,
and found him working at the wheel.
And if the vessel he was making was spoiled,
as happens to clay in the potter's hands,
he would make it unto another vessel,
such as the potter saw fit to make it.
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
'O house of Israel,
can I not deal with you like this potter?- says the LORD.
Just like clay in the hands of the potter,
so are you in my hands, O house of Israel!
At one moment I may decree that a nation or kingdom
shall be uprooted and pulled down and destroyed;
but if that nation against which I made the decree
turns back from it's wickedness,
I change my mind concerning
the punishment I planned to bring on it.
At another moment I may decree
that a nation or a kingdom
shall be built and planted;
but if it does what is displeasing to me
and does not obey me,
then I change my mind
concerning the good I planned to bestow upon it.
And now say to the men of Judah
and the inhabitants of Jerusalem:
Thus said the LORD;
I am devising disaster for you and laying plans against you.
Turn back, each of you, from your wicked ways,
and mend your ways and your actions!
But they will say, It is no use.
We will keep on following our plans;
each of us will act in the willfulness of his evil heart."
I would challenge you to read the ensuing comments of our LORD in this chapter. One comment I would make and that is, The will of man and the sovereignty of GOD are both obvious to me in this passage, as is the fact that GOD can and will choose to do what He deems best, and, He will do so equitably and justly, and with mercy and grace.
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